Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Out Of The Time Out Box!

How long have these been in hiding?

I've searched - I know I was stitching them while on a trip to San Antonio, and staying with my friend Irene when she lived there.

I thought it was about the same time that I went there for my episode recording with The Quilt Show, which I believe was 2014?  

I tried searching the archives for that trip to San Antonio, or anything after - got sucked down the memory hole, and nearly lost myself in reading old posts and revisiting days gone by that all at once feel SO long ago, and just like yesterday.

What is it that put these little cuties on the back burner?

And not just back burner - but the way way back and nearly forgotten time out?

As in - Oh!  I vaguely remember you, not sure what I was going to do with you, not sure that I like you kind of time out.

I know there was a reason for using "that" green.  I remember being inspired by an antique scrap quilt that had a very similar green - and it was STUNNING.

But a search through the archives didn't unearth anything, not in the 2013 to 2014 range of blog posts.

And since I'm pretty much living my life as if it is a repeat of April 2020 with Omicron sweeping the nation and breaking through vaccinated barriers - I'm pulling this out and giving them new purpose.

Juniper Green

In my belief - there is nothing wrong or ugly with ANY color, it's just a matter of what you pair it with, and how much of it you include.

Nature gives us ALL colors in all shades - and colors that we tend to like or are gravitating to are manipulated by the fashion/home dec industry, always having some colors and combinations become "outdated" and pushing us ever on toward the "new" colors.  

You've seen it happen gradually if you are paying attention.  Greens have gone in the past 30 years or so from deep blue greens to greyish sea foam greens to lime green and yellow green.  What we see in the stores changes a bit every year.

Note - there are NO NEW COLORS.  It's all a ploy to keep us buying what we don't currently have (because we got rid of it 20 years ago!)

So my job has been over the past couple of weeks to find just what I want to do with these little bear paw units, and what to pair them with that will allow them to be the best they can be.

Color wheels can help!

While Red, Yellow and Blue are primary colors, each of these primary colors can blend with each other to give us secondary colors as in red+blue = purple. red +yellow = orange, or blue + yellow = green, etc.

I didn't want to go red.  I'm tired of red.  As in - knife edge finish hexie death tired of red. So:

Orange is my winner!

Orange will lighten up that green, coax it into submission, and bring everything to light!

Sneak Peek!

I'm including all kinds of oranges from yellow orange to burnt orange and even pushing toward coral.

The way to push back against color boredom for me is to include many shades within that color family.

That's going to dilute the "sameness" of that constant juniper green that is overpowering my scrappy little bear paw toes.

More to come on this project as it comes together.  I'm just making blocks - I don't have an idea how I'm going to set them, I'm just wanting to bring this time out project into the light.

And it's going to be something that I love.  Which is all that matters.

The walkway trench has sand!

While all of this color manipulation was going on, Zoey Jo was helping her dad while soaking up some late December sunshine.

We are nearly ready to start placing the pavers.  

The big job continues, and hopefully the weather will hold out until everything is in place.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Happy December 21st, everyone - For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today is the shortest day and longest night of 2021.

I love and embrace this day - I am NOT a winter lover.  My family calls me "Solar Powered."  And for those of us with Seasonal Affective Disorder the fact that days will get longer from this point on brings a huge amount of relief and hope.

Those with Seasonal Affective Disorder - Our symptoms start in the late fall, exacerbated by the "fall back" time change and continue into the winter months, sapping our energy and making us feel a bit moody. 

Other Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish
  • Having problems with sleeping too much
  • Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
These symptoms often resolve during the spring and summer months. 

Staying creative and allowing myself the time to be with my fabrics and projects really helps me through this time.  

I burn candles in my space - aroma therapy, but also that little light shines and flickers and makes me smile.

I play music in the background, or listen to podcasts on interesting topics that keep my brain engaged.

I try to enjoy the "Slow Down" that winter provides.

I make plans for spring and summer - not to far off into the future - so I have goals to reach.

And this is another huge reason why I run our Quiltville Mystery during this time. It not only gives those who struggle through the holidays something happy to work on, but it does the same to me to present it to you this time of year.

If you also experience Seasonal Affected Disorder and find yourself in the dumps during winter, please share some of the things that help you cope through until spring.  I think it will help many to know they are not alone.

This has hit me hard this year.  My dad didn't come for Thanksgiving.  And he is not traveling from Arizona to Idaho for Christmas with my brother Scott and his family because of Omicron and his advanced age.

At nearly 82 he feels sad and has mentioned "I don't know how many Christmases I have left..."  It breaks my heart.

So we are planning for spring so we have something happy to look forward to in the near distant future.

And when feelings start to overwhelm that is when I get busy and divert myself away into something positive.

Sorry this is so not my usual post - but I'm also trying to keep things very real here.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

May this season of giving spill over into the next season and on and on.

And may that also include giving yourself the gift of self-awareness and self care.
I love this string pieced hexagon circa 1940 shared by Siobhan .

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!



  1. Several times you have suggested color choices that have unlocked possibilities for me when making my own scrap quilts. Appreciate the research you do and share. The orange is splendid with the drab green.

  2. Hi Bonnie! It may be unintentional, but your walkway photo has the same colors as your quilt—green and orange! Happy holidays! I love your blog, your patterns and books and classes(when the pandemic goes away).

    1. @PugMom ...and the turquoise on the doors!

    2. That was exactly my thought when I saw the paver project picture.

  3. There’s a gorgeous vintage feel to that green! I really like it. Take care during these trying times, in a year when Christmas isn’t as merry for everyone as we thought it was going to be. Today is the solstice- the light is coming back to us.

  4. I got a sun lamp for Christmas last year. It's great for lighting up my sewing space in winter so I can see what I'm doing and it helps chase that sleepy feeling away. Highly recommend! Thanks for keeping it real Bonnie!

  5. Hopefully the SADS only lasts a short while. Here's hoping you get to see family soon. Merry Christmas!

  6. Happy Winter Solstice to you! We have our yule log ready.
    Thank you for this post. I suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder too. The sun is my greatest friend!

  7. I check your blog and Pat Sloan's daily video to stay insired and brighten my day. Quilting is the best therapy. Love all that you share. Constantly amazed by all you do. Love your blog, miss quilt cam but understand, my rural internet is so slow. Hope to get to come to Quiltville miss your classes!
    Merry Christmas!!!

  8. What helps me in difficult times (like short days and long nights, and the changes that the pandemic have created) is to spend as much time as possible with people in my life that build me up emotionally and spiritually, and placed gentle but firm boundaries in place to spend less time with those who bring me down. I realize we can't totally isolated ourselves from toxic personalities but we can be careful that we don't spend any more time with them than we have to. I try to prepare myself for when I am going to be around them so I am on guard not to let their darkness become mine. Also, remembering all the blessing I do have help immensely! Remembering times with family that were precious. I know that as your share your love of your Dad with him, your words will help him through. It is hard too see those we love, being sad at being alone. Lots of phone calls help so much! Christmas blessings to you and your family, Bonnie!

  9. My SAD manifests in the summer--those long, hot days when evening always seems far away. I establish a routine to help: I close the window blinds early, try to keep the house cool and dim, and wind down as if it were evening (even though the sun is shining). Perhaps, winter SAD could mean brighter lights in the house, extra warmth in the evening, and keeping to a consistent sleep schedule?

    I hope you have very Happy Holidays! πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

    1. Me too, I have always said that my summers are almost unbearable, so very thankful for quilting, have quilted all my curtains for better insulation, good way to practice interesting blocks, scrappy as all get-out, change whenever--Raised in Michigan where I remember waiting for a bus in my college days, no pants for women yet, minus 15 degrees, so winter is my friend, "it is those "cracks that let the light in" in sew many ways.

    2. Interesting that you both say that, coz I was thinking the same while reading about Winter SAD sufferers. I live in Queensland, Australia & the Summer temps are very difficult for me, Even with aircon 9n most of the day I'm not coping & certainly not energetic enough to spend time sewing. Most people love the Sunny climes but I am constantly wishing it would rain so I could experience creativity.

    3. I live in north central Florida and I experience SAD starting in spring when I know those long, hot, humid days of summer are coming. No outdoor picnics (unless you are in water up to your neck) like people up north enjoy during summer, no outdoor sports (unless it is water polo), no outdoor anything unless you want to be dripping with sweat and feeling as if you can't breathe due to the moisture-saturated air. Plus those of us with curly hair look like alpacas all summer. So, I hibernate and sew during the summer with the AC blasting and restricted time outside and dream of fall and winter.

  10. Light, light light is what I do for SAD. Also started vitamin D. In 2019 I had my first winter without the "dumps". Sewing in my brightlyy lit studio while it was dark outside really helped. Cold and dark are the enemy. Fabric and creating are the tools to fight back. Thankful for a sunny shortest day.

  11. Thanks for the insight on how to brighten up dull muddy colors. You've inspired me to give the ones in my stash another try. And I also struggled with SAD every winter until I was finally diagnosed with chronically low vitamin D levels and my doctor prescribed mega-supplements from November to April. It was a total game-changer and I rarely experience winter moodiness any more. And after a few years my levels stabilized so now I only need a blood test twice a year to monitor my levels. Once in the fall to check if supplements will be needed and again in the spring to make sure levels haven't dropped too low after being indoors all winter without enough sunshine.

    1. I agree and also take Vitamin B, Super B-Complex sustained release and it has been a wonderful mood-changer.

  12. What a fabulous idea to combine oranges with the green. It really does brighten it up and add so much interest. I love how your brain works, and can't wait to see the progressing quilt! And your son is doing a fabulous job with the walkway!

  13. I knew you'd find a way to add some life to "that" green!

  14. Have spent the last couple days with my 94 year old dad so I understand your frustration at not being able to see your dad. I didn't see him for almost 2 years until this past summer as a result of the pandemic & other circumstances. We're moving him into assisted living soon as he's finally admitted to needing a little help in his daily life. Hugs, Bonnie, and keep sewing!

  15. Orange seems to be a good choice for you greens. You have given me an appreciation for what orange can add to a quilt. The walkway is looking great. I am sorry that you are not being able to see your Dad but y'all do stay in close contact and the love can go over the miles. Enjoy your sunshine and today is a milestone being the 21st.

  16. I am a Sun Worshipper too. Not a fan of the White stuff we got yesterday. My DH put LED lights in my basement Quilt Zone. I love that the days will get longer. Happy Solstice. Wish I remembered those Bear paws. 2013 was a banner year for me. That's when I met you at QM Block Party! Come on Spring!❤

  17. Thank you for all your insightful words. I am encouraged today

  18. For those of us with Seasonal Affective Disorder try increasing your Vitamin D. Also sitting under lights that are closest to natural light works well too. These have helped people that I know who also have issues with time of year. If all else fails having extra vitamin D will help keep your bones strong and we all can use that as we age.

  19. Hugs to you and your Dad.

  20. SADS causes me to keep all the lights on in the house at all times. I drive my husband crazy because he is a cave dweller..😁😁. He wants it dark when watching TV or just lounging in the family room…too bad! I also get outside at any point during the day that the sun peaks out. I I’ll bundle up and just stand in the sun and soak up the warmth. So far this winter, we have had breaks of sun between days of gloom, so I haven’t been too bad…just a couple of dragging days. On those days, I just let myself be gloomy. I’ll get in the kitchen and make a big pot of thick soup or chili for comfort food, binge on my favorite mystery shows, or just get out a book and read all day. I learned years ago not to fight it. When I try that, I just got frustrated with myself and end up in a worse mood. Each of has to cope with it in a way that benefits our mental health.
    Can’t wait to see the outcome of those bear paw blocks!

  21. Thanks for keeping it real, so many posts are all cheer. It helps to know you are not alone in what you are feeling and thanks for sharing how you work through the winter blah!

  22. This is a day I celebrate also. I have a Verilux Happy Light on my bathroom vanity. The problem was the worse I felt, the less likely I was to use it. I finally put it on a timer. It comes on for an hour each morning, during the time I'm most likely to be in the bathroom. It helps me a lot and the regular usage really seems to make a difference. Thanks for all you do.

  23. We have had an unusual number of cloudy days in the So Cal High Desert this fall, winter. I am a sunshine gal and it has been extremely difficult season for me!! I double up on my vitamin D and my quilting room is filled with daylight lights!! I always tell everyone that if there were room, you could land a 747 at night in there! I have considered checking into whether or not I could claim part of my electric bill as a medical deduction!! LOL!

  24. What a timely post Bonnie! I just pulled my lamp out a few days ago. Have alway blamed my blues on the stress of Holidays, expectations for them.
    But realized that is S.A.D. Covid is compounding!

  25. The orange was a beautiful choice to compliment that green!!! You have a gift of seeing what might be! I love your creations

  26. My husband and I got a light for SAD. 20 minutes in the morning really helps. Increase Vit C and D

  27. Happy Solstice and best wishes!

  28. I've followed you since 2013 and I remember your trip to San Antonio. I also remember that due to book contracts, you were often limited in what you could reveal on the blog about what projects you were working on. That may be why you can't find anything about those cute little bear paw blocks. We eagerly look forward to what you come up with.

  29. What a difference the orange made to "that green", color is amazing.
    I had cataract surgery during the past two weeks. Everything went from blurry to sparkling clear and bright. It's wonderful, I don't even need glasses to drive, but now need them to read. I didn't realize how dim my vision was.
    Thanks for the quotes, sometimes it is just what I need, but always thought provoking.

  30. Best topic ever! I'm loving this discussion about SAD.I wish we could just all give each other one huge group but in support of this miserable illnessπŸ™πŸ’“

  31. We have a Blue Christmas/Longest Night service at my church this week. It will have uplifting messages and beautiful music as well as a time to share. This service is for those folks who have lost loved ones, are alone, have been ill and/or just down in the dumps. I wish all of you with SADS could be there.

  32. Exercise and early morning sunlight for 20-30 minutes help me a lot! I can't always control the weather (cloudy v. sunlight), but the more I move and exercise the better my attitude. I also take Vit D3, but that's one you should confer with your medical people about.

  33. It helps to have your Mystery quilt parts to look forward to each week.
    Thanks for all you do for us. New patterns to try out.

  34. DS1 said a Happy Light helps a lot. DS2 is getting one for Christmas. Looking forward to seeing what you do with those lonely Bear Paw blocks, Bonnie!

  35. I really dislike this time of year. The cold temperatures and early darkness make me want to hibernate. But, weirdly, I'm a night owl. I tend to stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning and sleep until 12 or 1.By then if it's sunny, my room is really bright. That's when I get my best sleep. My husband always asks how I can sleep with so much light. He can't understand as he is a cave dweller. He sleeps in a different room because he needs total darkness to sleep. I like to leave my blinds open at night so that I can see the moon shining down on me.

    Love the bear paw blocks. Can't wait to see what you do with them. I'm not doing much sewing at the moment. I guess I got the New Years urge to clean and declutter my sewing room instead. That way I can find all the fabric and projects that I've lost during the year.

    Stay safe everyone and have a Happy Holiday season.

  36. Thank You Bonnie!
    I Do not have S.A.D.. but know many who do. Some even had it in California, where we had lots of sunshine.

    Up here in Alaska the Winter Solstice has another special meaning. BTW, I Loved your little poem, and the colors were just perfect. In Alaska many view the Winter Solstice as the beginning of summer!, Since the days are now going to be getting longer, that is true. Many say Alaska has two seasons, Winter, not quite summer. This year Summer was non existent, and we had a very short fall.

    I Like Winter, even though it is a lot of work for me. I shovel snow, use the riding snow blower on the driveway, and some on the road. I use the walk behind snow blower to open pathways. But, I enjoy this, too, as it gives me a sense of accomplishment. These are more big toys I get to play with for a few more years!

    Your Dad and his advancing years. It is sad to hear him say things like that. I listen to that and think, "He has /can have many more years. My Mom is 92, Pat, my former Boss, her Dad will soon be 101. Just think 101= That is a lot of years to be Thankful for!

    Have Great rest of the week, and enjoy your family and Christmas!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where we had a beautiful, cold winter Solstice, with lots of sunshine, The sunset on the Cook Inlet was absolutely Gorgeous today!

  37. Thanks Bonnie for all your inspiration. Thankful that I enjoy everyday for what it is. Greens are my favorites and I look forward to seeing what you do with the orange. Merry Christmas to you and your family. So sad the government is keeping people apart once again.

  38. Bonnie, I have to agree with you on the winter blahs.... I do many of the same ideas. Reading your blog every morning certainly helps. Hate when it gets dark so early!!! I celebrate the solstice as I know that now the days will start getting longer. I curse the "fall back" to our clocks. Oh how I wish we would stop doing that! LOL. Your attitude is so encouraging - thank you for that. I was in such a dark place last year and your mystery helped make my heart happy. This latest wave of Omicron is discouraging. I too did not go visit my 92 year old mom due to this latest wave. Praying that this all ends. Xx

  39. Wow Bonnie! Did anyone else notice that the green in the grass next to your walkway preparation matches the green in your lost blocks? And the color of the pavers matches the orange you are using with them!

  40. Australia gets to do Christmas outside! I think we should have a movable holiday for the first day we can gather comfortably outside. I have found getting outside every day for a walk helps. Also, without being consciously aware of the change I moved from a house that seemed mostly closed in a dark to one with more openness and light. My biggest personal celebration is when we change to daylight saving time! I'm doing your mq for the first time and finding that is absorbing and entertainin% me. Feeling energetic and productive!

  41. Observant(=creative) quilters to connect yard view & quilt block colors.
    We're blessed with ability to choose our responses to situations, choose joy, sing a happy song.

  42. I wonder if Bonnie got he idea for the quilt from her back yard? Can wait to see her quilt!

  43. I;ve been trying to replicate a round the world quilt from the 1930's, and the green is the only color that is impossible to find. I'm hoping I might get lucky and score some vintage bits of fabric at an estate sale.

  44. Record high temperature expected for us here in North Texas. I don't get the Blahs during December. The closest I come to that is in January because all the holiday fun is over. God bless and just keep stitching.

  45. Thank you,Bonnie for sharing your thoughts on Seasonal Affective Disorder! I imagine that it will help others to realize what they may be experiencing in winter.

    I'm a therapist who struggles with this too. Although I thought that I was a "spontaneous" person when I was young, I've found that having a rhythm to my days serves me much better. When we randomly moved our bedroom to the back of our house, we discovered that it is much easier for me to wake-up/get up because that room gets the morning sun.

    My sewing room, also in the back gets the best morning sun. Even though other responsibilities have made finding time to sew challenging, I find that when I "make" myself go first to my sewing room to work, even briefly, it seems to energize me for the day ahead. An added benefit is that whatever I worked on, however briefly, calls me back!

    I also want to comment on the sadness many feel about yet another round of high infection rates, possibly keeping us home more again this winter. I have two grandchildren who are too young for the vaccine, so I limit my time with others who don't have similar practices for their sake as well as my own. I discovered last year that I could find much joy in doing what WAS possible, setting aside what wasn't. So I met our granddaughter to "walk the (Christmas) lights, masked, in various neighborhoods. One of my daughters and I put on a party for the grands via ZOOM that we called "Mimi's Christmas Hullabaloo." She baked cookies that I delivered to their homes along with other goodies and craft projects. When we met at the appointed time, they worked on their projects and enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies while we read some favorite holiday pictures books using screen sharing and my Kindle app for some stories. Similarly, our other two daughters planned a hilarious family party, complete with supplies delivered in advance. I'm probably sounding "preachy" but we found that determination to not let the sadness at not doing life as usual defeat us carried us through! It just takes a little imagination and planning. Many people are sick of "screens" but I give thanks for the miracle of ZOOM and other platforms because they've allowed me to work from home and enabled me to keep in touch with family and friends.

    Thanks again for all your hard work that benefits is all Bonnie! You are an inspiration to me.

  46. Thanks for keeping it real, Bonnie! I think this Christmas is hard because so many of us hoped to be in a different place in the pandemic for this Christmas. With news of a new variant that is more contagious, many of us are looking to hole up again for awhile this winter. And if you had SAD, this makes the thought of those days even harder. But, many of us are all thinking that if we do this, if we keep masking, social distancing, getting vaccinated, and making good choices about who and where we spend our time, we will keep going and reach the other side! Merry Christmas! I am looking forward to some days in my sewing room.

  47. I volunteer more in the winter as me work schedule permits. I gives purpose to my day and lets me socialize with other like minded people. Best of all there is a schedule to follow, which keeps me out of my bed and out of the fridge!

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